Quantum computers are fragile miracles of physics that are unreliable, cost-prohibitive, and more error-prone than a shortstop with no depth perception. But, if we ever want to get to Star Trek levels of technology, we probably need them. To make them useful we have to make them reliable. And that’s a pretty tall order. The problem, in a nutshell, is noise. Quantum computers operate by exploiting strange laws of physics that allow otherwise-impossible computations to be performed. Unfortunately, performing quantum computations creates quantum decoherence, or noise as its commonly called. Think of it this way: qubits are like cans of…

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